February 12, 2013, 9:30 AM — During a question-and-answer session on the popular Internet site Reddit, Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates reveals the answer to the burning question: What do you get a man that can buy just about anything for his birthday?
"Free software. Just kidding. Books actually," Gates answered during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on the site, which calls itself the front page of the Internet. Gates' AMA has attracted quite the virtual crowd too, garnering more than 18,000 comments shortly after it ended.
As a comparison, U.S. President Barack Obama's AMA yielded more than 24,000 comments.
Gates answered a variety of questions on a diverse set of topics, with a focus on his personal life, emerging technologies, Microsoft and his philanthropic efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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On the personal side
Many questioners wondered about personal anecdotes. "Since becoming wealthy, what's the cheapest thing that gives you the most pleasure?" Gates was asked. "Kids. Cheap cheeseburgers. Open Course Ware courses," Gates replied. Before the text-based Q&A, Gates also answered some warm-up questions before the online chat started via a video. "How much money is in your wallet?" "I don't always carry a wallet," Gates admitted. "But I've got one with me and it looks like I've got $100." In his spare time Gates said he likes to play tennis and bridge (the card game), and tour power plants, garbage dumps and missile silos with his children, in addition to reading and watching courses. He doesn't believe leaving a massive fortune to his children is in their best interest, reflecting a view held by fellow billionaire Warren Buffett.